Requirements for Application
The application process for the master’s program is the same for all Full-Time, Part-Time, Extended Evening, and Accelerated program students. Qualified University of Chicago college students who wish to pursue a joint AM degree in social work at SSA should consult with the AB/AM adviser in the College and with the Director of Admissions at SSA early in their third year.

Please note that SSA only admits students for the Autumn Quarter with the exception of students starting the 15-month Accelerated AM program, which starts in March. SSA does not defer admission.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and SSA require that all applicants have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and have completed at least one course in each of the following tracks:

  • Humanities (examples: fine arts, history, languages, literature, music, philosophy, or religion);  
  • Physical and Biological sciences and Mathematics (examples: biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, or statistics); and
  • Social Sciences (examples: anthropology, economics, education, ethnic studies, gender studies, human development, international relations, political science, psychology, social work, or sociology).

Most applicants have majored in psychology or sociology, though we do accept applicants from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. 

We require an undergraduate degree in social work (BSW) only if you are applying to the 15-month Accelerated AM program.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Financial Aid

Over 95 percent of SSA master’s students receive merit- and need-based tuition gift aid. Each year, SSA awards full and partial tuition scholarships. To be eligible for SSA gift aid, you must fill out the SSA Financial Data section in the online application.  Second- and third-year students may also re-apply for gift aid each year. 99% of returning students have their gift aid renewed.

The majority of our students use Federal financial aid in the form of student loans and work study funds to bridge the gap between their SSA tuition gift aid and the cost of attendance.  To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The institutional code for the FAFSA is 001774.

Visit SSA

Plan a campus visit to attend one of our information sessions and meet with the Office of Admissions. If you can’t make it to Chicago, we can arrange an informational interview with a current student or SSA alumnus in your area.

Patrise Washington, AM '16

Patrise Washington, AM '16

"I chose SSA because I could create my own elective program focusing on mental health. As a single, working mother, it was important that I find a program that was flexible."